One of my favorite groups is a group of elementary students at a Finnish production company. I have been teaching there from the very start, i.e. from the time they were complete beginners. I will never forget how afraid I was when preparing for their first class. At that time I was sure beginners were the hardest students ever. Now I love teaching lower levels.
But why I am writing about it now is actually because in the course of our work I have created a lot of additional tasks and activities for them, as I was constantly feeling that what the book (first New English File beginner, then Language Leader Elementary) with all the supplementary resources had to offer was not enough to really practice all the knowledge and skills they were getting.
So now I am just going to show you a number of things I created which seemed to be working quite well.
The first thing to share is a kind of a puzzle. you can downlowad an example below. This is something I created after one of my lessons somewhere at the beginning of Elementary level in order to revisit and to revise the word order in some key phrases we came across at the lesson. I started the next lesson with it. There are several different ways to work with such kind of puzzles depending on how much time you can allow for the activity and on how difficult you want to make it for your students. As for me, in most cases I cut out only separate words in different parts of the puzzle (e.g. here I cut out the words is, years, old, American, company, I, not, what, your, etc). at the beginning of the next lesson I put this gapped table in front of my students and gave each of them (there were 4 of them on that day) a couple of cards. They had to put them into the right place, and of course they could dicuss their decisions. First they seemed to be a bit puzzled, then one of them guessed that colors could help. So it took about 7 minutes to put the puzzle together. Then we read out each phrase, made sure all of them made sense and discussed what could be said before or after these sentences, what answer they could give to the questions. So this worked as a good follow-up activity. I think there are many different options around such activity (you can include different types of phrases, you can make it black&white or coloured, you can cut all or just several words, or perhaps leave the first column uncut and cut all the rest (works well with the questions)… This kind of task works very well too when we watch videos (Headway beginner series or some other ones), to make them remember some key language fro, what they saw.
Download: table puzzle